Club News

Defender calls for Bluebirds to defy odds and spark final push

Defender Steven Caulker says it’s ‘now or never’ for the Bluebirds as they battle to claim a second consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League.

With five games remaining and fifteen points up for grabs, the City Captain insisted that the belief remained amongst the Bluebirds’ set-up ahead of their trip to high-flying Southampton on Saturday, with no better time for the Bluebirds to defy all the odds and claim a vital victory.

With the belief and fight still very much alive in the Cardiff ranks, Caulker said: “All the odds are stacked against us, but what better time to go out there and prove otherwise. The position we’re in, we know it’s now or never.

“To get out of this almost gives all the players the opportunity to make ourselves small time heroes in Cardiff and keep the side in the Premier League. The results haven’t been going our way, we can’t rely on that. It’ll take some doing for us to get out of it that’s for sure, but we’re hopeful that we can make for good end to the season.

“We believe we can do it, but it’s going to be tough – it was always going to be. Strange things happen in football though, we back ourselves and we’ve been working hard this week on what we need to do to beat a good Southampton side.”

Travelling to the South Coast on Saturday in search of a first victory in Southampton since October 1962 – a game that saw Ivor Allchurch grab a brace in a 5-3 victory – City face a Saints side currently in eighth position in the Premier League after an enjoyable second season back in the top flight.

But, keeping the focus well and truly on their own performance on the pitch on Saturday, Caulker has called for his side to find the form that saw them compete and beat some of the best in the top flight already this campaign.

“We believe that if we can find some form from earlier on in the season that we can go and win this game,” said Caulker. “We’ve done well against the so called ‘bigger teams’ all season so hopefully we can go and produce a similar performance against Southampton.

“We know they’re a good side. We know it’s not going to be easy, their movement is great and their confidence will be extremely high after the season they’ve had. But we’ve got to focus on the situation we’re in at the moment. We’re in a very difficult position and we have to respond from last weekend’s performance.

“My main role is to get everyone ready for Saturday. We’ve got five huge games to go, it’s a real mountain to climb but we all still believe that we can do it.”

The 22-year-old England International also reserved special praise for winger Craig Noone, after it was confirmed that he could miss the rest of the season through injury this week.

“It’s a massive blow,” expressed Caulker. “He’s been brilliant and is a player we really need at the moment.  He’s direct, gets great delivery into the box and has scored a fair few goals this season. He’ll be missed and we all wish him well for a speedy recovery.”